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Twice Baked Potato – Quick & Easy

Summer is here! At any rate the temperature sure feels like it. David and I went picking blackberries early this morning. Found a HUGE bush growing around one of the trees on the far hill. It is loaded with berries as big as the end of my thumb. Only takes a few minutes to fill up a half gallon bag – that’s my kind of picking. Of course have to be careful of snakes – so my berry picking attire consists of boots, long pants, gloves and a large hoe.

When we got back to the house, did some work around the yard. Specifically, pruning the Juniper bushes. They are so pretty and smell so good but trying to keep them manageable while at the same time keep their free form shape is not an easy chore. We did a little more work on them when we got back from berry picking. In fact as far as I’m concerned – we’re finished with those babies! We had good intentions to get them trimmed much earlier in the year – but it just didn’t happen. They are quite prickly and my arms are covered in a red rash right now – but at least it’s not poison ivy. 

Been pretty busy with doing some computer work for clients last few days – so haven’t had a chance to make my slip covers. The material has migrated to the guest room – not a good sign. But, I have good intentions to get them sewn up this weekend. (If all goes as planned.) They’ll really dress up those old deck chairs.

  Spent a little time outside after lunch – just enjoying the plants, breeze and quiet. For the first year since we’ve been here, the caladium bulbs – along with the other bulbs I planted have survived the moles. My wire basket theory worked!

The daylilies are in full bloom – always a favorite; as are the hydrangeas. Last year I didn’t think the blossoms could be any larger – but they are huge again.     I’m keeping an eye on the plum and peach trees . . . know I can’t save all the fruit from the birds (1 particularly pesky woodpecker loves plums) – but I’m going to give it my best shot. May have to pick a few of them before they are totally ripe – but that’s OK too.

Had a really nice visit over the weekend with Joe and Nancy (cousins). Good fun, conversation and lots of laughs. Fixed steaks with twice baked potatoes. I don’t fix twice baked potatoes very often – no reason why – just don’t. But Nancy asked for the recipe so I’ll post it here for anyone else that might be interested.     It’s very basic and the amounts of added ingredients can be adjusted to individual taste. You may not like as much butter as we do.

Started out by ‘baking’ my potatoes in the microwave. I’ve found that by baking them in the microwave on 50% power for 10-15 minutes they come out fine. I drizzle them with a little olive oil and salt, loosely cover with plastic wrap and then cook. And, don’t forget to prick them in a couple of places before you nuke them.   

Once they are done, cut them in half length ways, carefully scoop out the inside and put that into a large bowl. Set the skins aside. You can add any or all of the following ingredients:

(For 2 baked potatoes, cut in-half, serves 4)

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh, finely chopped onion
  • 2 Strips crispy bacon, crumbled
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh garlic chives (regular chives or green onion tops can be substituted)
  • 1/4 Cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 Cup Parkay Squeeze Butter
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Butter
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • (Sour cream is optional, if you like it – add about 1/4 Cup)

Mash the potatoes and ingredients together until smooth.   Spoon 1/4 of the mixture into each of the saved potato shells.

Place filled shells into a oven-proof dish, sprinkle a little extra cheese on top and bake for 5-10 minutes at 400 degrees (until cheese is melted and potato is hot).

Optional baking method: Place dish with filled potato skins in the microwave and cook for 5 minutes at 50% power or until cheese is melted.

These can be made ahead and warmed just before serving.

3 comments to Twice Baked Potato – Quick & Easy

  • Kathy Y

    Recipe sounds yummy – can’t wait to try it! I’ve never had much luck with microwave-baked potatoes, so I am eager to try your method. Lynn Cermak told me about your website and I am enjoying it very much. Thanks for sharing!

  • janmon

    My pleasure 🙂

  • Lyman Kreb

    Thx for this great information that you are shareing with us